James Van Der Beek may not have won Season 28 of Dancing With the Stars, but there is no doubt that dancing regularly for three months had some amazing benefits for his body. The 42-year-old Dawson’s Creek alum recently took to Instagram to show off his body transformation after his time on DWTS, and it’s impressive.
Van Der Beek posted before and after pics from his time on the ABC dancing competition, and he explained that before he started DWTS, he had been training in Muay Thai three days a week for about six months for a future project. Then, he “hit pause” so he could dance six hours a day.
When a fan asked him about his diet during DWTS, Van Der Beek said that he ate a lot of fruit, vegetables, smoothies, and salads.
“I danced early in the day so pretty much ate vegan until dinner,” wrote Van Der Beek. “Had to keep it light fare because we didn’t really take breaks. Not so much a diet… more like only wanting to eat what I knew would make me feel good under the workload.”
Van Der Beek was partnered with Emma Slater for the most recent DWTS season, and he made it all the way to the semi-finals, just one week shy of the season finale and the top four. Van Der Beek was a fan favorite throughout the season, but his performance faltered after a family tragedy.
The Saturday before Van Der Beek’s performance in the semi-finals, his wife Kimberly suffered a miscarriage and nearly lost her life. Shifting his focus to his family, DWTS went on the back burner at the climax of the season.
Eventually, Bachelorette star Hannah Brown and her pro partner Alan Bersten took home the Mirror Ball trophy.
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Posting this today in honor of my left knee, which – when I woke up today – felt like I could dance on it again for the first time since jumping off the stage (in Cuban heels) last week. Huge shoutout to all of my 42 year-old bones, muscles, joints and ligaments which are affording me the time of my life right now. I appreciate you and promise to make it up to you when this is all done❤️ And to anybody out there feeling too old to try something new… never underestimate what your body can pull off when you love something and you’re patient with your progress.
Van Der Beek said on Instagram that he did Dancing With the Stars so his kids could see him work hard, but little he did he know they would see him brought to his knees. Before their personal tragedy, Van Der Beek said he had been trying to figure out a way to explain to his kids why it was so important to support the rest of the cast, even though they were his competitors.
Then, his kids saw him need and accept the support of his co-stars because it’s not the Olympics. Instead, it’s a reality dance show, but it’s also family.
“Thank you to my partner and friend for life @theemmaslater for being so open and strong and talented, to the entire cast of pros for the mini master-classes and the wordless hugs, and the entire crew,” wrote Van Der Beek.
Dancing With the Stars will return to ABC in 2020 for Season 29. James Van Der Beek currently stars in the FX series Pose, which will return for Season 3 in 2020.